Appraisal Services

Senior Fine Art Appraiser, Sales Director and Auctioneer, H. Brent Souder, is shown holding a self-portrait by Walter Baum. Crushing the record sale price  at auction for $97,750 to a New York City collector.

The team of Appraisers at Alderfer Auction has a unique advantage over most other appraisers. Our appraisers are observing market changes and trends daily through the ever-changing landscape of the market by selling collections and estates at auction. Alderfer Auction has built relationships with lawyers, banks, institutions, and individuals who need to settle an estate, dissolve a partnership, have a collection evaluated for insurance, make a charitable contribution, or have a market valuation of their collection.

Want to request an appraisal?


A Valuation is defined as an estimation of something's worth, especially one given by a team of specialists, while appraisal is defined as an expert estimate of the value of something. These sound like very similar definitions; however, the words are not synonymous. A valuation is generally given verbally and is an estimate of an item’s fair market value. This is a useful tool for someone who is looking to sell personal property. We have a team of specialists who will give estimates of items based on their experience on comparable sales at auction.

An appraisal is also an opinion of value; however, this information is then presented to the client in a professional, written report that can be relied upon by the client, the IRS and other intended users named in the report. People commonly need written appraisal reports for estate tax reporting, insurance purposes and for tax purposes when a charitable contribution is made.

Appraisals are formal, written reports that are impartial and objective. They are billed to the client at an hourly rate. Each appraisal report is written in compliance with the government standards of USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) set by The Appraisal Foundation and adopted by Congress in 1989. Each of our appraisers have gone through vigorous training and have earned designations in their field. Designations include MPPA (Master Personal Property Appraiser). Alderfer Auction is also a proud member of many professional organizations including the AAA (Appraisers Association of America- accredited member), the NAA (National Auctioneers Association) and the PAA (Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association).


Alderfer Auction offers both services of Valuations and Appraisals. Value is dependent upon rarity, desirability, condition, authenticity, and current market trends.

We appraise:

  • Residential contents
  • Antiques
  • Fine art
  • Firearms
  • Military
  • Dolls
  • Coins & currency
  • Automobiles
  • Historical documents and autographs
  • Mid-century modern and design
  • Jewelry
  • Musical instruments
  • Classic cars
  • And more...


Appraisals are needed for various reasons. Some are needed by clients and the IRS for estate tax purposes or for a charitable contribution. In these cases, the values used are Fair Market Value. Fair Market Value (FMV) is defined as the price at which a property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

For Estate Tax appraisals, the IRS has very specific guidelines on what information they need and who can provide the appraisal. To ensure the needs of our client meet the IRS requirements, all our reports are USPAP compliant.

Others need an appraisal report for insurance purposes so that their possessions are properly insured. This type of report uses Retail Replacement Value. Retail Replacement Value (RRV) is defined as the amount it would cost to replace an item with one of similar and like quality, purchased in the most appropriate marketplace in a limited amount of time.

For Firearms: The Alderfer Auction Firearm Specialists can provide written appraisals to reflect fair market value for estates, insurance purposes, equitable distribution, and family division reasons.

We offer many Types of Written Appraisal Reports including:

  • Estate tax or planning
  • Insurance
  • Charitable Contribution or Gift
  • Damage or Loss of Value
  • Family Division
  • Equitable Distribution


Alderfer Auction has been in business for over 60 years. When you choose Alderfer Auction, you can rely on us to meet your needs in a professional manner.

Our appraisal team will provide you with:

  • Client confidentiality
  • Respect for your personal property and collections
  • An unbiased examination of property
  • Competitive and fair prices for services performed
  • A professional report that conforms to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)
  • Excellent customer service and communication throughout the appraisal process